Football: Schmeichel opts for the Sporting life

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The Independent Online
PETER SCHMEICHEL finally made his exit from English football yesterday when he signed a two-year contract with Sporting Lisbon.

The veteran Danish goalkeeper, who quit English football because the pressure was becoming too much for him, will reportedly receive around pounds 600,000 per year. The 35-year- old said he was lured by the challenge of helping his new club win the Portuguese title for the first time in 17 years.

"When I got to Manchester United the club hadn't won the title in 26 years and we were champions right in the first year. Now in Sporting, this is my new motivation," he said.

Liverpool's executive vice-chairman, Peter Robinson, told Lazio yesterday they would be "wasting their time" with a pounds 30m bid for Michael Owen. The Anfield side have responded quickly to reports that the Serie A side are set to move for the striker following the doubts cast over the Rome club's attempts to sign the pounds 22m-rated Nicolas Anelka from Arsenal.

Eyal Berkovic's future could be ironed out this week. The 27-year-old midfielder has been linked with a pounds 5m move from West Ham to Celtic. Parkhead's director of footballing operations, Kenny Dalglish, is an admirer of Berkovic and apparently tried to sign him when he was Newcastle manager.

The Polish international Darius Adamczuk is expected to join Rangers this week when the club's manager, Dick Advocaat, returns from holiday. The 29-year-old midfielder will leave Dundee for Ibrox under freedom of contract. Rangers are also tracking Paul Ritchie and have made an offer of pounds 800,000 for the Hearts defender.

Stan Collymore is poised to resume his Aston Villa career next month after passing a Football Association drug test. The striker offered to take the test after allegations that he had used drugs while undertaking stress counselling. He is now expected to begin pre-season training on 2 July.

The Birmingham City striker Nicky Forster is set to sign for Reading in a pounds 600,000 deal, and reject a transfer to Preston North End. Forster has been talking to Preston for the past fortnight, but has yet to agree terms and now Reading have also had an offer accepted.